UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) is an international organisation that is dedicated to the preservation of the world's cultural and natural heritage. In 2012, the organisation is celebrating its 40th anniversary and the celebrations will commence on 30 January 2012 at the UNESCO headquarters in Paris.
The UNESCO World Heritage list currently includes 936 sites of cultural or natural heritage in 153 countries, of which 36 sites are in Germany. Aachen Cathedral was among the first 12 heritage sites when it was added to the list in 1978. Germany's World Heritage sites are attractive travel destinations which reflect the diversity of Germany's cultural heritage.